Article 4 Direction Consultation

East Herts District Council has been given authorisation from the Executive Committee to introduce an Article 4 Direction to protect the District’s employment areas as defined by Policies BISH11, BUNT3. HERT6, WARE3 and VILL4 in the East Herts District Plan (as approved 23rd October 2018).

Article 4 - Background

This Article 4 Direction will restrict permitted development rights which allow offices and light industrial buildings to be converted into housing without the need for planning permission. Permitted Development is development which is allowed to take place without the need to apply to the District Council for planning permission. Permitted Development is effectively planning permission granted nationally by the Secretary of State by Order. New rights were introduced in 2013 that allowed the change of use of office buildings to residential use. The change of light industrial uses of up to 500m2 to residential use was introduced in 2016. These changes of use take place through the prior approval process.

At East Herts, we are concerned about the impact this will have on the district's ability to retain existing businesses and jobs, attract new ones and provide services locally for the District’s residents, workers and visitors. Therefore, we have decided to invoke this Article 4 direction on premises within the strategic Employment Areas designated in the East Herts District Plan 2018. This means that the conversion of offices or light industrial space in those areas to residential use will require the normal planning permissions from the Local Planning Authority from the date the direction comes into force..

The Article 4 Direction will take effect in 12 months’ time enabling a period of public consultation to be undertaken and for any possible changes that are suggested to be considered. The Article 4 Direction will come into force, subject to confirmation by East Herts Council, on 2nd January2021. For further information, please see the following documents;